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The stereotype threat follows the assumption that the existence of stereotypes about a racial identity or social group created anxiety in an individual, making him or her be stressed about anything that would provoke the stereotype (Lamont, Swift & Abrams, 2015). The anxiety that arises from stereotyping can be so intense that it could affect an individual’s performance to a level where his or her intellectual performance may diminish. A study by Forbes and Schmader (2010) suggests that the stereotype threat has a negative influence on the performance of individuals from racial groups that are discriminated against. Lamont, Swift & Abrams (2015) and Forbes and Schmader (2010) make the below observations about the stereotype threat:
Stereotyping is a general threat to individuals’ mental health as it affects the members of the social groups, which are negatively stereotyped.
The threat affects people across different groups and individual settings.
To be affected by the stereotype threat, one does not have to believe in the stereotype or be concerned about the truth behind the claims: it is the pressure in the statements that affects the members of the stereotyped group.
Overcoming the stereotype in one setting does not translate to a different setting.